Maxine Robertson Management

June 2012 - newsletter 21





MRM Artists Success in the Press
Karen Cargill - BRAHMS, DUPARC, BARBER, BBC Radio 3 recital with Simon Lepper
She has a fabulous voice, lustrous tone, unbelievable breath control and seamlessly-nuanced dynamics, all of which characterized her superb programme of songs by Brahms, Duparc and Samuel Barber.
Michael Tumelty, The Herald, 9 March, 2012


Elizabeth Watts - MOZART - Le Nozze di Figaro - Welsh National Opera
With Elizabeth Watts' Susanna we have top-notch singing, the peak scaled with her Deh, vieni in Act 4, beautifully phrased and coloured. Noone else matches Watts' vocal lustre.
Geoff Brown, The Times, 28 February, 2012


Andrew Tortise - BRITTEN - The Turn of the Screw - NI Opera
Andrew Tortise's compelling account of the Prologue, three minutes that can pass for very little in performance. Tortise sang superbly as Quint for the rest of the evening too, the frequent passages of melisma that Britten gives the character stripped of all archness and affectation and delivered with an ease of voice production that rendered their malevolant insinuations all the more unsettling.
Terry Blain, Opera, May, 2012

Andrew Tortise sings Quint's eerie melismata hauntingly, with an ethereal, otherworldly sound…
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 25 March, 2012

Andrew Tortise's neatly sung Quint...
Richard Morrison, The Times, 8 March, 2012


Sally Matthews - HANDEL - Deidamia - Netherlands Opera
The aria M'hai resa infelice crowns the soprano Sally Matthews' captivating performance, her velvety voice bringing out all of Deidamia's despair and pent-up rage. In an earlier aria about a nightingale, Ms Matthews combines vocal acrobatics with physical ones, singing agilely while her acting, which includes the active participation of her shapely legs, mimes going for a swim.
George Loomis, New York Times, 27 March, 2012

Matthews enchants as Deidamia...rarely is velvety soprano singing paired with such sensual dancing...Matthews carries the show...warm sound and great presence.
Misha Game, NRC Handelsbad, 16 March, 2012


Edgaras Montvidas - STRAVINSKY - The Rake's Progress - Scottish Opera
Edgaras Montvidas's handsome, juicy-toned Tom is one of the most convincing I have seen
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times, 25 March, 2012

Tom Rakewell was the personable Lithuanian tenor Edgaras Montvidas...he projected clearly and shaped Love, too frequently betrayed with lovely sensitivity
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 27 March, 2012

This is an ensemble piece, created for Scottish Opera by Scots. But its heartbeat is that of the Lithuanian tenor who uninhibitedly lives Tom's infatuations, his pubescent sense of enlightenment, his pride, self-indulgence and deranged venereal shame...to hear Stravinsky's music sung with such a sense of line and colour, such dash and élan, such opulence and intensity, is revelatory.
Anna Picard, The Independent, 26 March, 2012

Montvidas and Page are outstanding - Montvidas dark-voiced and vulnerable: those moments when Stravinsky allows his emotions to penetrate the artifice are simply overwhelming.
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 18 March, 2012

...the Lithuanian tenor throws himself into the show with heart and soul, whether he is caddish or remorseful, or even being stripped to his breeches to be served up to the monstrously buxom Mother Goose.
Neil Fisher, The Times, 19 March, 2012


Andrew Foster-Williams - HANDEL - Deidamia - Netherlands Opera
A discovery is the gritty, intense bass-baritone Andrew Foster-Williams (Fenice).
Misha Game, NRC Handelsbad, 16 March, 2012


Mark Padmore - BRITTEN - War Requiem - Philharmonia - Lorin Maazel
What lifted the performance to a special level, however, was the singing of Mark Padmore and Matthias Goerne...Padmore was outstanding, the clarity and authority of his singing revealed in every contribution, nowhere more so than in the way he caressed the word gently at the start of Owen’s Futility; or in the tender weight he brought to the most exposed tenor moment in the whole piece, the supercharged rising phrase of Dona Nobis Pacem...
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 27 March, 2012

For Padmore, no praise could be too high. The piercing beauty of But they who love the greater love, soaring eloquently to the final Dona Nobis Pacem was unforgettable.
Barry Millington, London Evening Standard, 26 March, 2012

Impossible, too, not to hear the anguish in Mark Padmore's tenor. Stuttering rifles, the guns' monstrous anger; Owen's words came vividly to life...
Geoff Brown, The Times, 27 March, 2012


Mark Padmore - BRITTEN - Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings; FINZI - Dies Natalis - Britten Sinfonia - Harmonia Mundi recording
These performances of the Serenade for Tenor Horn & Strings and the Nocturne are of the utmost sensitivity...On a poet’s lips I slept, sings Padmore at the start of the Nocturne, and that is just how it seems in these intimate and poetic performances...the sense of the poems comes across with extra immediacy, as if Padmore has read the texts many times over before fitting them to the music. There is much beauty here...Dies Natalis, to which he brings the same rapt concentration and verbal detail...Highly recommended.
Richard Fairman, Gramophone, June 2012

Great performances of great music are always welcome; and the beauty especially of the disc by Mark Padmore...is so tender and piercing that you really do seem to be listening to these song cycles anew...a conversational ease when singing pianissimo...These are intensely sensitive and poetic readings...
*****Geoff Brown, The Times, 4 May, 2012

Padmore is gifted with exceptional intelligence in thinking his way into a poem...is sensitive to the wide-ranging demands of the poetry...Padmore has a sure touch in making Finzi's impassioned melodic lines sound both beautiful and as easy as conversation...These are beautiful and perceptive performances, rewardingly matching poetic insight to musical understanding.
John Warrack, International Record Review, April, 2012

In Dies Natalis...it's a wonderfully muscular performance, beautifully judged and shaded.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 3 May, 2012


Marcus Farnsworth - The Myrthen Ensemble - Joseph Middleton
For sheer joy, nothing I have experienced musically this year comes near to matching this lovely soirée. The crème de la crème of young British talent. Farnsworth displayed a sultry swagger in Saint-Saëns' Guitares et mandolins.
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 30 March, 2012


Marcus Farnsworth - WEBER - Der Freischütz - LSO - Sir Colin Davis
Marcus Farnsworth sang a very enthusiastic Killian, and had an enviable presence on stage.
Michael Migliore, Musical Criticism, 26 April, 2012

Marcus Farnsworth's vivid Killian got Act 1 off to a rollicking good start..
Hugo Shirley, Opera, June, 2012

I should also definitely mention a winning, stylish Killian from Marcus Farnsworth; again it was difficult not to wish that the role might be expanded.
Mark Berry, Opera Today, 26 April, 2012


Thomas Walker - JANACEK - Vocal Works - Capella Amsterdam - Daniel Reuss - Harmonia Mundi recording
His lyrical but rather piercing and poignant sound seems exactly right for this kind of Czech music: he's performed Janek in The Makropulos Case and would make a good Kudras in Kát'á Kabanová. He has done due diligence in mastering the idiom stylistically.
David Shengold, Opera News, 9 May, 2012

Elegy on the Death of My Daughter Olga...well and movingly sung
John Warrack, Gramophone, May, 2012


Simon Lepper - BRAHMS, DUPARC, BARBER, BBC Radio 3 recital with Karen Cargill
...the exquisite pianism of Simon Lepper, as intellectually sound as it was poetic and lyrical.
Michael Tumelty, The Herald, 9 March, 2012



MRM Artists forthcoming highlights
Sally Matthews sings Countess Almaviva in a new production by Michael Grandage of Mozart Le Nozze di Figaro for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, conducted by Robin Ticciati, during June, July and August, including a performance for the BBC Proms on August 28.

Annalena Persson during June and July sings Brünnhilde in concert performances of Die Walküre with Opera North and Music Director Richard Farnes in Leeds, and on tour to Birmingham and Gateshead.

Elizabeth Watts sings Achsah in Handel Joshua in Halle (June 6) and Berlin (June 8) with the Akademie für Alte Musik and the RIAS Kammerchor and will return to Germany on June 17 to give a recital with Simon Lepper for the Neuss Shakespeare Festival - music to include Morley, Arne, Korngold and Strauss. On August 12 Elizabeth sings Dido in Purcell Dido and Aeneas in Bruges, with the Retrospect Ensemble and conductor Matthew Halls.

Katherine Broderick sings Helmwige in Opera North's concert performances of Die Walküre, during June and July, joining Annalena Persson. In August Katherine gives a recital with James Bailleau of songs by Debussy, Ravel and Barber and a performance of Berlioz Les nuits d'étés, both in Belfast for BBC Radio 3.

Karen Cargill in June sings The Angel in performances of Elgar The Dream of Gerontius at the Vienna Konzerthaus with the Wiener Symphoniker and James Judd and on July 18 sings Beethoven Symphony No 9 in Venice with the Orchestra and Chorus of La Fenice and Myung-Whun Chung.

Edgaras Montvidas makes his USA debut in June singing Rinuccio in Puccini Gianni Schicchi for Cincinatti Opera.

Jeremy Ovenden on June 2 and 7 sings Mozart Coronation Mass with Le Cercle de l'Harmonie and Jérémie Rhorer in Paris and during July sings in concerts of Mozart choral works, including Missa Longa in C, with Concentus Musicus Wien and Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Stainz and for the Salzburg Festival.

Mark Padmore with Paul Lewis performs Schubert Schwanengesang on a European tour during June, including Prague, Amsterdam and Wigmore Hall, London. On June 20 and 22 he gives recitals in Vienna and Stuttgart with Julius Drake including Janacek Diary of One Who Disappeared and on July 25, again with Julius Drake, Mark sings a programme of Hugo Wolf at Wigmore Hall, London.

Andrew Tortise sings Peter Quint in further performances of Britten The Turn of the Screw with Opera NI at the Buxton Festival and sings Scarlatti Il Martirio de Santa Teodosia with Al Ayre Espanol, on June 3 in Halle and on August 10 in Bruges.

Thomas Walker makes his German opera debut in July singing the title role in Calixto Bieito's new production of Rameau Platée for Stuttgart Opera and conductor Christian Curnyn and on August 15 joins Concerto Caledonia for a concert of music by 16th century Scottish composer Tobias Hume at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Marcus Farnsworth sings The Novice's Friend in David Alden's new production of Britten Billy Budd for English National Opera during June and July. Then on July 23 sings Fauré Requiem in Hereford Cathedral for the Three Choirs Festival and conductor David Hill.

Viktor Rud on June 6 sings Harlequin in the last performance of the season of Hamburg Opera's new production of Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos.

Andrew Foster-Williams in June sings a solo programme with the Adelaide Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras and Nicholas McGegan - music to include Rameau, Handel and Mozart. On July 6, he sings Brahms German Requiem at the Chester Festival with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko and in August sings Haydn Nelson Mass for the Mostly Mozart Festival, New York with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Stephan Loges sings Bach Mass in B Minor on June 17 in Leipzig, with The English Concert and Harry Bicket and on July 8 sings Bach St Matthew Passion with the Gabrieli Consort and Paul McCreesh at the Brinkburn Music Festival. Then from August 29, Stephan sings Arnholm in the world première performances of Craig Armstrong The Lady from the Sea with Scottish Opera at the Edinburgh International Festival and in Glasgow.

Lukas Jakobski during June and July sings Un Chef Grec in Berlioz Les Troyens with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden and Antonio Pappano. On July 19, Lukas sings Don Profundo in Rossini Il Viaggio a Reims - the Royal Opera Young Artists Programme 10th Anniversary Gala.

Simon Lepper joins Elizabeth Watts on June 17 for their recital at the Neuss Shakespeare Festival. Then on July 14 Simon gives a recital with Mark Padmore at Garsington Manor, including songs by Wolf and Schumann Dichterliebe and on the 17th at the Petworth Festival he accompanies the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World winner, Valentina Nafornita in a programme including the music of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov, Donizetti and Chausson. Simon takes part in three chamber music concerts in Delft during August, the music to include Paganini, Britten, Liszt and Finzi and with artists including tenor Joshua Ellicot.